Formakov’s letters from 1947 focus on his preparations for his release, the introduction of the zachet system of time-off for good work, and also his concerns about his wife’s health and his family’s economic situation. For much of this period Formakov was a “de-convoyed” inmate, authorized to move about outside the camp without a guard. This made it easier for him to mail illicit correspondence to his family. Letters also mention rumors preceding the 1947 currency reform, suggesting that even in distant labor camps knowledge of the coming devaluation of the ruble was widespread, despite the efforts of the authorities to keep plans secret.
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